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newspedteach newspedteach is offline
 
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newspedteach
 
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Hanging in there?
Old 06-05-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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How are all of you wonderful Special Educators doing about now? It's a tough time of year, for sure, isn't it?

I have 4 1/2 student days left (I am not a counter-downer, nor do I allow a 'count down' of any kind in my room, but I'm secretly counting in my head this year ), 1 teacher-only day on the 14th and then 2 PD days, which I was a volunteer for (I get paid ). This is the first summer in over 10 years that I haven't tutored, gone to school, worked summer school, etc...all work with students. I need a break this summer. After June 16th, I plan to take some time to rest/breathe, talk to my dh and son, read for enjoyment (what a concept!) and read for PD (not too heavy). I want to start my walking again, eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies, clean out some very messy/disorganized cupboards, drawers, closets, etc. in my house, and sort my old family pictures (my oldest son wants them to scan) to name just a few things. I will also go on some type of vacation; maybe the ocean, with my husband.

I also want to work in my classroom. I've already thought of a decor 'theme' for next year (I don't go overboard with this at all). I want to clean/sort out all three file cabinets full of materials, even though I've only been in this room for 3 yrs. It all needs to be gone through again...it shouldn't be nearly as intensive this time. I am also going to go through all my books and re-configure them. I bought some 1/2 price Lakeshore tubs and plan to fill them with the 'stuff' hanging out on my shelves and use the rest for my library. I'll also go through my toys and games and wipe/wash/sort/recycle. I'm also on the look out for a new storage cupboard to replace the eyesore that my district will not replace even though the teachers in the building all have new, nice storage cupboards (I'm in a portable).

After all that, it should be August and I'll start getting ready for school--buying supplies, labeling folders, copying and planning for the caseload I THINK I will have (unable to plan yet for my transfers, who always come and are usually my most difficult kids). I also have a 2 week math class in August that I also volunteered for (again, I am paid for this).

Right now, I'm at school, taking a break from sorting through papers. I haven't been at school on a weekend for awhile, so I'm taking a few hours to sort in the quiet. I also took the time to type out a list of 'things to do during 'slack' time' for my assistants. I make a list each year, but somehow, it never gets completed, even though my assistants have LOTS of 'slack' time .

What kinds of things do you do in the summer to unwind, yet prepare for the school year? My goal is always to be THAT much more organized each year, but it really depends on my students and happenings mostly beyond my control.

How are you all hanging in there right now?


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Old 06-05-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I can definitely relate! This has been the most stressful year I've had in almost 20 years of teaching. I was counting down those last 30 days just keep myself going! Thankfully, we're finished. I'm participating in some workshops, but I'm not teaching this summer for the first time in several years. I'm enjoying the break.

My two big goals for school this summer are to get templates set up in boardmaker plus for all of my class activities so that putting together units will be MUCH easier. I also want to work on developing communication books patterned after Porter's PODD books. I keep my kiddos for several years, so I can start working on books for the kids I already know. I also want to come up with some standard activities for the paras to use with the kids and get data sheets set up and ready to go for next year.

As for personal goals, I've already decluttered and cleaned my big walk-in closet (which I can now actually walk into!) and some things that had started stacking up around the apartment. I have more cleaning decluttering to do. I've already read 3 books for pleasure, and I've started on two more. I also have a couple of movies I want to see. I'm planning on spending more time with family and friends. In fact, I had breakfast with a friend this morning and I'm headed out in a few minutes to spend a couple of days with my parents.

Hang in there - it'll be over before you know it! Have a great last few days! One thing that really helped me was that I sneaked around and did several activities just for fun, and I didn't care if they learned anything or not! We had a blast!
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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SDT - I did the same thing. We're doing a scavenger hunt that will result in Root Beer floats, we made tetrahydron kites, with out emphasizing tons of the math and we've been playing lots of games. Sometimes our kids just need time to be kids!
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thanks SDT!
Old 06-06-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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For sharing and commiserating with me .

You know, I've talked to SO many teachers who said this year was one of the toughest....

I like your projects....I love Boardmaker and have done A LOT of playing around with it and have even made several communication tools with it. I've been thinking about making a picture schedule (booklet thing) with real pics for my guy with ASD for next year.

Quote:
Hang in there - it'll be over before you know it! Have a great last few days! One thing that really helped me was that I sneaked around and did several activities just for fun, and I didn't care if they learned anything or not! We had a blast!
Thanks for the reminder . State testing was later this year, so for some reason, it's been harder to 'relax' a bit these last weeks...


I'm glad you are not 'working' this summer either. Hope you have a productive, yet very relaxing summer.

We should all come back and touch base on how our projects are progressing throughout the summer .
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